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'''Distrust''' is a formal way of not Trust (sociology)|trusting any one party too much in a situation of grave risk or deep doubt. It is commonly expressed in civics as a division or balance of powers, or in politics as means of validating treaty terms. Systems based on distrust simply divide the Moral responsibility|responsibility so that checks and balances can operate. The phrase "Trust, but verify" refers specifically to distrust. An electoral system or adversarial process inevitably is based on distrust, but not on mistrust. Parties compete in the system, but they do not compete to Subversion (politics)|subvert the system itself, or gain bad faith advantage through it - if they do they are easily caught by the others. Of course much mistrust does exist between parties, and it is exactly this which motivates putting in place a formal system of distrust. Diplomatic protocol...
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